Promises Us Super Times With A Celebration Of Fab Queer Talents
Mission 1: Discover The Best of the Merchant City
Some Glasgay venues sit within The Merchant City, or are close to it so why dont I make a start there? The Merchant City is a clearly defined area of Glasgow city centre, from George Square to the High Street and down to the Clyde.
It's partly residential, has lead the way in the regeneration of Glasgow to the shiny penny we all love today, and is forever cool and cosmo.
As the Merchant City is such a compact area you shouldnt have too much walking to worry about.
The main Glasgay venues in the Merchant City are The Tron Theatre, Q! Gallery and Studio and St. Andrews in the Square.
Just across the river is Citizens Theatre, known locally as The Citz, and under Central Stations lines into the city is The Arches Theatre.
Although Citizens Theatre is across on the south side of the Clyde, with very little around, bear in mind that it really is only about 400 metres back to the Merchant City, where the bright lights will be waiting for you.
The Tron Theatre is a very busy and popular Glasgay venue, and has hosted the opening party in previous years. In 2008 the party takes place before the festival kicks off, on the evening of Friday 12 September.
Several Glasgay performances will take place in its flexible show areas, from big crowd pleasers to more intimate shows.
Having two bars and a decent restaurant makes The Tron a must, especially during Glasgay when the whole place buzzes with a happy vibe.
Best of the Glaswegian Gay Scene...
It must be clear to you, whether youre new to Glasgow or not, that there is a vibrant LGBT scene going on. Perhaps not as large as the scenes in London or Manchester, there is a distinct gay quarter in this great city.
And heres the cool news for Glasgay its right on the west boundary of the Merchant City.
Bennets night club on Glassford Street has been Glasgows centre of gay fun nights out for more than 25 years.
Everyone's Guilty Pleasure?...
Cheesy and camp, Bennets is as friendly as clubs come, and now and again even attracts hen nights (groups of straight women celebrating a friends up-coming wedding).
Revellers can be sure of a hoot without unwanted pawing from straight males.
Lesbian woman are, of course, well catered for too, with regular woman-only nights.
Mirror Mirror On The (Toilet) Wall...
Just round the corner is The Polo Lounge, with its huge ground floor bar, just stuffed with big armchairs and sofas.
There are two dance areas and bars downstairs, open until the wee small hours.
Here are a couple of Polo Lounge tips for you:
You can also pop through to Bar Moda, (or enter from Virginia Street around the corner). With loud pumpin music and a fairly young crowd, Moda is the place to meet up after a hectic shopping spree and to watch todays flavour of eye-candy do its thing.
Shop Til You Drop (Them)...
Leaving the Polo Lounge, turn right and youll see Clone Zone tucked behind a rather anonymous looking sandstone doorway on Virginia Street.
If you just have to have a DVD or magazine full of hunky bears in the scud, or sleek young euroboys or girls getting down to it, this is the place for you.
Of course, you might want to check out some of their gay and lesbian erotic fiction, or treat yourself to a pair of leather shorts while youre here.
We find that a visit to Clone Zone is great fun, just to find out whats new and to catch up with the extremely cool greetings cards and calendars out this season.
Is That A Pistol In Your Pocket?...
Last, but by no means least, is Revolver Bar opposite the Italian Centre in John Street. Its a mere minutes walk from Bennets, and very different from the other gay bars in Glasgow.
Cool and minimal, with fairly bright lighting and an industrial feel, the Revolver Bar attracts older and younger gay folks, checking out the talent and having a noisy old time of it.
Their freebie digital juke box is fun and theres even a pool table tucked around the corner of the bar if you fancy.
For excellent pre-theatre in the Merchant City, check out the award-winning food and funky once-a-tree furnishings of Cafe Gandolfi.
Rab Ha's cosy bar with nibbles and Guy's Franco-Scots funkiness both offer warm welcomes.
Cafe Mao and its playschool-vibrant setting is perfect for an Asian feast.
Tron Victorian Bar of course and its close sister, Tron Bar are both super cool.
Amarone is a mere five minute Italian-shoed walk away, on the other side of George Square.
Booking is a good idea, especially at Café Gandolfi and The Tron. In fact, The Tron plays such an active part in Glasgay that the atmosphere is constantly buzzing.
Getting a table at the last minute during Glasgay is next to impossible. You have been warned!
Now, where else do I rate for a good drink, for either before or after the show of your choice? In the Merchant City, its hard to beat Babbity Bowster.
Full of crumbling character, Babbity Bowster has been loved by locals since the early 80s. There is an outdoor beer garden here, but during Glasgay it might feel a bit nippy for most!
Citation in the old Sheriff Court building has plenty of room for a drink or indeed something to eat.
In a prime Merchant City location and close to all local venues, this is a cool bar restaurant to visit. The same can be said for Brutti Ma Buoni in The Brunswick.
Now where? Up for another Top Secret Glasgay Mission?... There are five in total to choose from
Glasgay! Promises Us Super Times With A Celebration Of Fab Queer Talents
G! Explore Glasgow's Merchant City
Top Secret "Missions"...
Magic [this page]
G! Yes, You Can Have Fun in the Financial District
G! Get High in Garnethill
G! Ride Out to the Wild West (End)
G! Sleep-off Your Excesses... and Stay Safe
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